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The QueueApr 16, 2021 12:00 pm CT

The Queue: In which I am forced to write a thousand words defending Kyrians

Really, this is all your fault.


Perhaps not, but the idea that other’s like him went to Bastion is just gross.
A lifetime spent honorably, as a good and noble person. Only for everything about you, every experience that made you unique and noble to be erased.

To quote Yoda, “luminous beings are we, not this crude matter” and what the Kyrian do is destroy what makes us luminous. A lifetime spent living self-lessly, in service of others sees you “rewarded” with the destruction of your own “light”.

All in the name of creating a super-neutral army of soul shepherds. So unopinionated in their surroundings that they become little more than a race of lawful-stupid robots funneling souls into the maw, because it’s all they know how to do. Because they lack any knowledge or experience to draw upon to think of something better.

I think anyone who knows me also knows that I’m the team captain for the “the Archon is wrong” faction. I think they rather inanely ignore their own role in the problem of souls flowing endlessly into the Maw. We see in the Kyrian campaign when we fetch a soul from Azeroth that Kleia is shocked to see it going into the Maw without any judgment from the Arbiter. And in the meanwhile, the Kyrian leadership itself seems to have no idea how to stem the flow of souls into the Maw and stop the Jailer’s power from growing — even when they are literally the ones putting the souls there.

If we, the Maw Walkers, can go into the Maw and pluck souls out for our Covenant without any judgment or even knowledge of who they are, couldn’t the Kyrian Ascended also make such a choice, without dropping them into the Maw and powering up the Jailer first?

It is ridiculous that the Kyrian should be so surprised and confused. It suggests, to me, that either they’re tremendously incompetent or tremendously stupid. Even though it would be a massive reworking of their thinking and process, if ever there was a time to make such a change, it’s now. But by all accounts they haven’t even considered that they could prevent the Jailer from getting souls by just not handing him souls. Instead they are baffled as to what they could possibly do in such a situation. It grates at me.

Perhaps there is a reason that the process of sending souls to the Arbiter cannot be disrupted, even though the Arbiter has ceased to function. But that reason is not in the game, and it makes this whole story fall apart.

So, hello, my name is Liz and I am in a faction of the afterlife’s biggest idiots.

However, these idiots have grown on me. Even their methods have started to make a certain kind of sense.

Before you start joking about how I’ve joined the cult, hear me out. I’m going to lead with a Mass Effect reference, because of course I am. I’ve been thinking about this line of dialog from Samara in ME2. She’s a justicar, sworn to following a strict code of right and wrong, and at one point she explains, “If I must kill a man because he has done wrong, do I really wish to know he was a devoted father?” There is a peculiar kind of strength in ignorance.

And Kyrians require a similar dedication to their task. Their job is to ferry every living soul into the afterlife. It is a heavy task, a heavy burden, and Kyrians must do it endlessly. I have only ferried one soul, and he did not make it easy. He begged to go back, to be sure his wife and children were okay. It seems a heartless thing to take him, and it’s almost certain that every soul has a similar story.

It is not that you must become an emotionless automaton to be Kyrian. We have met many Kyrian who have feelings, feuds, loves, wants, needs. They are all individuals. They are all different.

But to do this job, Kyrians require a sharp clarity of purpose. Their duties are crucial to the existence of the Shadowlands. They cannot falter or fail. They must be wholly focused on their task. And to do this, they discard many things. They shed much of their mortal lives and become something new.

You brought up Star Wars, so let’s look at the Jedi:

There is no emotion; there is peace.

There is no ignorance; there is knowledge.

There is no passion; There is serenity.

There is no death; there is only the Force.

The Jedi code teaches us that emotion is wrong. Even positive emotions, like love, are not acceptable. A Jedi leaves everything behind, abandons family and possessions to spend their lives devoted to the Force. There is no emotion, there is no passion, there is only the Force.

Does that sound maybe a teeny bit like a certain Warcraft faction that we are currently vilifying as a brainwashing cult?

The Kyrians leave their pasts behind in order to take on this heavy duty. Their memories are carefully preserved, but they need the focus, the clarity that can come from not knowing,from leaving things behind.

I believe, personally, that our memories, our emotions, our experiences make us who we are. They inform our decisions. They are what might lead us to live a life of service that eventually sent us to Bastion.

But the Kyrian, with their varied personalities and eccentricities — show that there is still something left when you have stripped these things away. Kleia has great compassion. Forgelite Sophone has an intense dedication to craft. They were both Kyrian aspirants, but they’re both very different. Perhaps this is because of some essence of their personality, an inner fire of their soul that is not abandoned when memories are shed. Perhaps it comes from their experiences in the afterlife. Perhaps some of both.

And Pelagos… well, he is another matter entirely. I think, in fact, that he may be the herald of great change, because he remembers some of his past life — and I think it gives him a strength of will he might not have had otherwise. And even though he has not ascended yet, he has been allowed to advance through the ranks of the Kyrian as he is, with this memory, this source of some portion of his strength and determination, still in his heart.

Perhaps more Kyrian should be like that. Should hold on to the things that define them, hold on to the memories they can draw strength from. Perhaps Pelagos is a sign that the Kyrian are starting to recognize that.

And it’s very likely that we, too, are heralds of change. The Archon herself says:

Long have we believed that our mortal lives are burdens to be shed in the name of service. And yet, the deeds of mortals are what won the day.

The Kyrians have plenty of faults. But a heavy duty was placed upon them and they have done the best they knew how. Perhaps it was not the best system. Perhaps it was too inflexible, too punishing. It has certainly left many souls hurt and confused, those who could not — or did not wish to — finish the process of ascension being essentially abandoned.

But the system itself, the idea that we must shed something of our past lives to give all of our focus to our current task — it is not necessarily wrong or misguided. It has served the Kyrian well for countless years, helping them perform the staggering task of escorting every soul from its home and into the afterlife, as is their duty — as is their choice.

…I still don’t understand why no one has come up with the very obvious solution to stop the Jailer from gaining souls by not giving him souls. But I don’t fault Kyrian philosophy for that gaping plot hole.


Q4tQ: Do you think the introduction of transmog glasses in 9.1 will make the price of Rhinestone Sunglasses drop?

No. Those sunglasses are approximately a million times cooler than any of the glasses models.


QftHearthstoners – Should I hold onto the Year of the Phoenix packs until the next expansion releases?

Nope. The content of those packs is fixed — they’re Year of the Phoenix, which includes Ashes of Outland, Scholomance Academy, and Madness at the Darkmoon Faire. This year is Year of the Gryphon, which so far is just Forged in the Barrens. But those Phoenix packs won’t be updated to include any new cards or expansions, so you may as well open ’em up and grab yourself some cards while you can use them.

But don’t feel bad not knowing. I had to ask yesterday if those were Year of the Phoenix packs or Year of the Gryphon packs because I didn’t remember and I couldn’t tell.

Okay folks. I bid you all a good weekend. Be sure to pet your dogs and tell your loved ones you love them — two important tasks that are equally important. I’ll see you all again next week.

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